Something occurred to me this morning as I fished around the little clay pots I use to hold my brushes–I use the same 4-5 brushes most days. I really need to put them in their own pot. The next thing that occurred to me is that my least expensive brushes see the most use (with my powder brush being the exception). I almost feel bad about collecting all those Wayne Goss brushes. Almost. I still reach for the fancy brushes when I have time to do more with makeup. So I’ll hold on to those beauties too. But for weekdays when time is of the essence? These are the go to brushes.
The Real Techniques Buffing Brush
This is part of the Real Techniques Core Collection. For about $10 you get this brush, the contour brush (more on that next), the pointed foundation brush (haven’t found a use for this one), and the detailer brush (this tiny baby is perfect for inner corner highlighting and smoothing concealer caught under the lower lashes). If you don’t have this set—wait, does anyone NOT have this set? Anyway if you don’t, you should get it for the buffing brush alone. This is perfect for the job: dense, but not too dense; soft, but not too soft; never sheds a hair; and is easy to wash. It buffs cream and liquid foundations perfectly and is also great for buffing in a little pressed or loose powder to blend together and soften bronzer, blush, and highlighter. It is a must have.
The Real Techniques Contour Brush
This brush is perfect for doing a quick, simple combination contouring/bronzing. The the tapered shape and size are perfect for carving out cheek bones and shading along the jaw line. I use it with powder products, but being a synthetic brush this would probably be even better with cream products. When I got the set, I was so focused on the buffing brush that I didn’t give this much attention. Now I use it every day.
EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush
This brush costs $6.99 and is more than worth every penny. I love this thing. You can pat, pat, pat your way to perfectly blushed cheeks. When I went on a little fancy brush binge I bought a beautiful Japanese blush brush. Do I use it? Hardly ever. I have a whole post dedicated to this little lovely.
Sigma E25 Blending Brush
This brush is a well-known dupe for the famous MAC 217. It’s fluffy, has a rounded top, and synthetic hairs. It is made for blending the crease, but I like to use it for a quick swipe of sheer, matte color all over the lids, then I dip it into a shimmery shade for the inner corner. One and done. Another steal at $14.
Chikuhodo Passion Series PS1 Powder Brush
This brush was a Christmas present to myself last year. As my first Beautylish purchase, it was ten bucks off. It costs $64, and that is splurgey–though make no mistake, this series is entry-level for Chikuhodo brushes. It gets more expensive from here! Nothing about this brush feels low end. It is light-weight, beautifully crafted of soft goat hairs, and a complete pleasure to use. And damn, it’s pretty. It picks up and applies pressed powder perfectly. Invisibly. This is where I see the difference between synthetic and natural hairs. I don’t have an inexpensive brush to recommend. For me, it’s either this or setting powder with a flocked sponge.